Castle Roland

Fallwell Paranormal Research
Case# 20160127A - The Winchell Hotel

by MultiMapper

In Progress

Chapter 6

Posted: 19 Sep 16

Fallwell Paranormal Research
Case# 20160127A - The Winchell Hotel

Copyright © 2016 by MultiMapper
All Rights Reserved

Shrieking Devastation

"Norville, do you know how to turn off the power in this part of the building?" Derek asked as they walked.

"I know where the fuse boxes are, but I think Pa is the only one who knows which fuse box and which fuse goes to which thing." Norville slowly explained.

"Do you know if there's a light switch for this hallway?" Derek asked hopefully.

Norville looked around the hallway where they were walking, then slowly said, "I never really looked for one before."

"If I were going to put a switch somewhere, I'd put it at the entrance to the hallway." Mike said reasonably.

"In newer buildings, that's usually true. But a building this old wasn't originally built with electricity being taken into account. So later, when it was time to add the electricity, they had to deal with what was in front of them, which sometimes led to some less than ideal choices being made." Derek slowly explained.

"Do we really need for the lights to be turned off?" Mike asked cautiously.

"Complete darkness is ideal, but it's not like we can't investigate without it." Derek reasoned.

"If we're going to the 'bad' room, stuff happens if the lights are on or not." Norville said cautiously.

Derek looked at Norville with surprise, then cautiously asked, "What can you tell us about 'the bad room'?"

"Pa's always told me not to go in there. He said that if someone in room 257 needs something, I'm supposed to get Ma to get if for them." Norville said earnestly.

"Is room 257 the same as room 1257?" Mike asked curiously.

"Yeah. The people who work here usually call the rooms by the little number. We only use the big number when we're talking about a room on a different floor."

"Well, did your Pa say why you weren't supposed to go in there?" Derek asked cautiously.

"He just said that it's not good for guys to go into room 257. He didn't tell me any more than that." Norville said simply.

"There it is, what do we do now?" Mike asked uncertainly.

"We set up the first camera, then we move on to the next location." Derek said simply.

"Oh." Mike said with surprise, then said, "I thought we were going to be ghost hunting."

"We are. The first step is to get the recordings started, that way no matter if we're there or not, whatever happens is being recorded." Derek explained.

"Do I have to go in there with you?" Norville asked anxiously.

"No. Of course not. If you want to stay out here in the hallway, we'll only be a minute." Derek assured him.

"Okay. I'll stay right here."

"Shouldn't we stay back by the camera, so the girls can find us if they need us?" Teresa asked anxiously as they slowly walked.

"They each have a walkie talkie, so they can call if they need to. And if they want to come looking for us, all of them know which area we'll be searching." Kerry assured her as he divided his attention between the K2 meter in his right hand and the night vision camera in his left, which was the only indication he had to tell him where he was going.

"But what if Zoe gets scared?" Teresa asked in a whisper.

"If she gets scared, then she'll have her big sister to protect her." Kerry said frankly, then added, "Coming out here and doing this isn't just about helping Alana. Giving Zoe and Toni the chance to explore something together gives them a chance to not only become closer to each other, but also to become more independent from us."

After a moment more of walking, Teresa finally said, "I guess you're right. Since we've been in Massachusetts, I've known exactly where they are, what they're doing and who they're with every minute of the day. This just seems like a pretty big leap from what I've become comfortable with."

"It's not that big of a leap. You still know where they are and who they're with. And you know that if they need you, they can call you." Kerry said gently, then cautiously continued by asking, "Do you have that master key that Alana gave us?"

"Yes. I have it right here." Teresa said as she fished it out of her pocket.

"I'm getting an elevated EMF reading that leads up to this door. I'd like to see what's inside." Kerry said seriously.

"What do you need for me to do?" Teresa asked cautiously.

"If you would, just open the door, then stand back and record everything while I investigate."

Teresa awkwardly stepped forward, using her night vision camera to guide her to where she needed to be. It was a bit of a challenge for her to get the key to match up to the keyhole, but she finally got it in and turned the key in the door, then pushed it open.

As she stepped aside, Kerry was particularly aware of his handheld video recorder and made a point of slowly sweeping the room to get a clear picture of every detail before him.

He took another step into the room and suddenly stopped.

"What's wrong?" Teresa whispered.

"I thought I heard something. Would you step in here with me and keep recording while I put down my camera?" Kerry asked softly.

Teresa was nervous, but cautiously took a few steps into the room so that she could get a clear view of everything.

She watched through the viewfinder on the night vision video camera as Kerry carefully placed his DVR on a nearby table and positioned it to get a good view of the room. He then took a digital audio recorder off his belt and turned it on before stepping forward in the dark and blindly placing it on a side table, beside a settee.

Once the audio recorder was in place, he calmly said in a clear voice, "If you have anything to say, we're here to listen to you. Even if we can't hear you, we have a device that can record your voice. If you'll speak into the red light on this table, we'll be able to hear whatever you want to say."

Teresa fought not to breath and strained to hear any response to her husband's words.

After a long pause, Kerry asked, "What is your name?"

Teresa felt a full body flinch as she heard something bump on the far side of the room.

Kerry quickly took the small digital camera off his belt and snapped a few still photos in the direction that the sound had come from.

"Why are you here?" Kerry asked as he put the camera back on his belt and turned on his K2 meter.

As much as Teresa wanted to go to her husband and hold him to reassure herself, she was able to remain in place and continue recording.

"What year were you born?" Kerry asked as he blindly ventured forward, holding the K2 meter in front of him.

Teresa let out a slight yelp when she heard a faint ::psss:: sound between her and her husband.

"Time mark, Teresa made a noise in reaction to an unexplained sound." Kerry said clinically, then continued, "What year did you die?"

Teresa heard what sounded to be either a slight whisper or possibly the sound of the wind blowing outside. This time she was able to keep herself silent, although every instinct that she had was telling her to run with all her might back to the safety and security of their suite of rooms, which had both heat and light.

"We're going to be leaving soon. If there's anything you want to tell us, if there's something we need to know, please speak into the red light and tell us now." Kerry said seriously as he put his K2 meter back onto his belt.

Teresa waited and listened, but couldn't hear any response.

"Thank you. We'll be leaving now. Go in peace and find good rest." Kerry said, then blindly walked across the room to one of the few lights visible to him, the viewfinder of his night vision camera.

Once he had the camera in hand, he walked back to the side table and picked up the audio recorder before saying, "This is Kerry and Teresa in room thirty-three fifty. One audio recorder, two DVRs and still photo evidence to review at this timestamp."

When he was done speaking, he turned off the digital audio recorder and hooked it back onto his belt.

"Is that it?" Teresa asked hopefully.

"Yes." Kerry assured her as he walked to join her near the doorway.

"What do we do now?" Teresa asked cautiously.

"We're done with this location. If we find anything when we review the evidence, then we may visit here again tomorrow night or we might decide to put a stationary camera in here and see what happens when there's no one here to provoke a response." Kerry said seriously as they walked out of the room.

"So that's it? That's all we have to do?" Teresa asked cautiously.

"Well, we're not done investigating, so it's always possible that we might find another active area before we're done. But I'd be willing to bet that that was probably the most exciting thing that we're likely to find tonight." Kerry assured her as he took the K2 meter off his belt and turned it on with his thumb.

After a moment to consider, Teresa quietly said, "That wasn't so bad."

"Ghosts usually aren't." Kerry said as he divided his attention between his DVR and his K2 meter. "Most of the time they're simply energies that have been imprinted on the surroundings. What we see, hear or otherwise sense is just a leftover shadow of what was here before. It isn't good or evil and actually has no intent. It's just a wispy lingering memory."

"I guess that after what happened at our house, I thought it would be a lot more... dangerous." Teresa quietly admitted.

"What we had was a demon. That's an entirely different thing. If I had the slightest hint that there was a demon present, I'd get you and the kids out of here as quickly as I could." Kerry assured her.

"So these ghosts, they're like Daniel and Benjamin?" Teresa asked to confirm.

"Probably not. Daniel and Benjamin are 'active' or 'revenant' hauntings, meaning that they have awareness and can interact with us if they choose to. There's a good chance that the ghosts here are 'residual' hauntings, which means that they don't think or feel. They're just shadows left over from a time long past. They have no more thought and feeling than the playback of a DVD recording." Kerry carefully explained.

Teresa was about to say something else when she noticed the K2 meter in Kerry's hand starting to light up.

Kerry stepped back and forward a few times before turning and walking up to a closed hotel room door.

"How would you feel about investigating this one?" Kerry asked cautiously.

"Me?" Teresa squeaked.

"Sure. You saw what I did in the last room. If you want to, you can investigate this one and I'll stand back and record everything." Kerry said encouragingly.

It took a moment for Teresa to gather her courage, but finally she said, "I'm going to open the door. Follow me in."

"We already walked through here." Zoe said as she walked up the hallway.

"We didn't have our K2 meters out to tell us if there was something here that we couldn't see, and we weren't recording." Toni explained, then thought to ask, "Are you okay with using the camera to see where you're going?"

"Yeah. This is fun." Zoe said happily.

"I guess it is." Toni reluctantly admitted. She had to stop herself suddenly, when Zoe stopped in front of her.

"I got yellows." Zoe said seriously.

"Let me see." Toni said as she moved to Zoe's side.

"It was doing it before, I promise." Zoe urged her sister to believe her.

"Move the meter around and see if you can get it to go off again. Maybe whatever you ran into moved away." Toni suggested as she looked at her own K2 meter.

"Is it a ghost?" Zoe asked as she started searching.

"Slow down a little. If you move too fast you might miss something." Toni warned her sister, then continued, "It might be a ghost, or it might just be an energy spot. Sometimes when something really sad or happy happens, that energy soaks into the walls."

"So, like, when you have a smelly room and you take the smelly stuff out, sometimes the room can still stink?" Zoe asked curiously.

Toni laughed, then said, "Yes. It's just like that. You know how it is when Dad leaves his sneakers out. Even after he puts them away, you still notice it in the room."

"I got another yellow." Zoe said suddenly.

Toni walked to her sister's side, then used her own K2 meter to try and isolate the boundaries of whatever it was that Zoe had discovered.

Once they had determined that their high energy reading was isolated to an area in the hallway, not near the entry of any rooms, Zoe quietly asked, "What do we do next?"

"Do you think that you can figure out how to use that little camera that Mike gave you?" Toni asked hopefully.

"Don't you just point it and push the button?" Zoe asked cautiously.

"You might have to turn it on, first, but after that, yeah. That's probably all you'll have to do." Toni admitted.

Toni knelt on the floor then set her K2 meter and DVR aside as she got her digital audio recorder out. Before turning it on, she quietly said, "I'm going to be recording. We can't hear what the ghost is saying if you're talking at the same time, so I'm going to need for you to be quiet for a minute. If you hear anything or feel a change in temperature or something, go ahead and take a picture of it. This is why Mike gave us these cameras."

"Can you help me with this? I can't figure out how to turn it on." Zoe asked with frustration.

Toni set the audio recorder aside then picked up her DVR so that she could use the night vision to help her find the power button on the little camera.

It took a moment, but she was finally able to get the digital camera turned on.

"This is Toni and Zoe Hinton. We're in the third floor A wing in the hallway, between room thirty-five twenty-five and thirty-five twenty-six. At this timestamp we have digital audio, still photos and two handheld DVRs. Zoe got yellow K2 readings and we isolated it to this part of the hallway. Now we're going to do an EVP session." Toni said seriously.

Before she could continue, there was the flash of Zoe taking a still picture.

"I am speaking to whoever or whatever lives here. Can you tell me who you are?" Toni asked carefully.

She purposefully waited to give the entity an opportunity to answer.

As she did, Zoe snapped another still photo.

Toni's first instinct was to tell Zoe to save the camera until something happened to take a picture of, but she held herself back and reminded herself that Zoe wasn't hurting anything and that there was a chance that Zoe might be able to catch sight of something.

"What is your name?" Toni asked in a clear, firm voice.

She paused, as necessary, then asked, "Why are you here?"

Zoe snapped two pictures before Toni continued by asking, "Do you want us to leave?"

Zoe took another picture, then whispered, "Can I ask the ghost some questions?"

"Sure, go ahead. Just remember to give the ghost time to answer." Toni said softly.

"Are you happy?" Zoe asked confidently.

Toni smiled to herself, then decided to do as Zoe had done and took the camera off her belt and turned it on.

"What do you like to play?" Zoe asked reasonably.

Toni snapped a picture of the area in front of her, where the EMF readings had been located.

"Is your mommy and daddy here?" Zoe asked curiously.

Toni turned and snapped a picture of Zoe.

"Which room is yours?" Zoe asked in a casual tone, as though she were talking to a new friend that she'd just met.

Toni then turned and snapped a picture of the hallway, back the way that they had come from.

"Do you have any toys?" Zoe asked, and Toni thought that she sounded a little hopeful.

Toni then snapped a picture of the hallway that led to the B wing, where they were heading.

"This is my sister, Toni... that's not a boys name, her real names Antonia. I'm Zoe. If you're unhappy or you need something, you can tell us and we'll try to help."

Although Toni felt that she had covered all the bases, as far as taking pictures went, she snapped one more of the high EMF area.

"I'm done. What do I do now?" Zoe whispered.

"Just say goodbye to let the ghost know that we're leaving and say thank you to them for talking to us." Toni said instructively.

"Oh, okay. Um... We've got stuff to do so we're going to go now. Thanks for talking to us. If you think of something that you want to say to us later, just remember it and we'll come back and talk to you again." Zoe said seriously.

"Peace and good rest." Toni said softly, then picked up the audio recorder and said, "This is the end of the EVP with Toni and Zoe Hinton. We didn't see or hear anything, we just got some yellow K2 readings in this area. Check two handheld DVRs, two still cameras and one digital audio recorder at this timestamp."

"Should I turn off the camera?" Zoe asked cautiously.

Toni thought about the question for a moment, then said, "Leave it on. That way if you hear something later, you can take a picture of it right away."

Looking through the viewfinder of her night vision DVR, Toni saw Zoe nod as she attached the camera to her belt.

Toni made a quick survey of the area to be sure that they hadn't left anything, then asked, "Are you ready to go?"

"Do you want for me to do the K2 again?"

"Sure. If you want to. Since you did such a good job with the last one."

Zoe pressed the button on her K2 meter, then lifted the DVR so that she could see where she was walking.

Toni silently followed behind, feeling nearly overwhelming pride in her sister.

After another quick K2 scan of the room, Lorra took the audio recorder from her belt and turned it on before saying, "This is Lorra in room three one three three. We've heard a sound that might be either crying or maybe the wind blowing. Malika is getting a stationary DVR right now that we're going to point out the window. When we do our evidence review we're going to need to synch the times on all the video and audio evidence to see if the wind is blowing at the same time we hear the sounds. Evidence to review is one stationary DVR, one stationary wireless DVR and one audio recorder. Once everything is recording, we're going to do a basic investigation of the E and F wings to detect any other activity."

Lorra placed the audio recorder on a table, then used her night vision DVR to find her way back across the room.

She paused when she heard what sounded to be someone crying in the distance.

"I'm doing a short EVP session, just in case this isn't the wind." Lorra said loudly across the room, then continued, "We have a recorder, that's the thing with the red light on the table by the window. If you have anything to say, speak into that red light and we'll hear you."

She paused for a moment and listened carefully before asking, "What is your name?"

"Where are you from?"

"What years did you stay here?"

"Why are you still here?"

"Do you need help?"

A sound from behind her made her jump.

Lorra turned her night vision camera toward the door and was relieved to see Malika walking into the room, carrying a messenger bag.

"Let's get this set up, then we can go and look at the rest of our area." Lorra said decisively.

"What's that red light?" Malika asked cautiously.

"That's the audio recorder. I did the time check when I turned it on and then I did a short EVP session." Lorra said as she walked across the room with Malika.

"I thought I'd be more scared, but I feel okay." Malika said absently as she opened the messenger bag.

"Hang on." Lorra said quickly, then turned on her flashlight. Then she explained, "Trying to put this thing together in the dark is stupid."

"Yeah." Malika agreed as she started to take the camera and tripod out of the bag.

"Do you need any help with that?" Lorra asked cautiously.

"No. It looks pretty simple." Malika assured her.

Lorra watched as Malika made quick work of the set up process.

"Is that right?" Malika finally asked as she looked at the viewfinder.

Lorra turned off her flashlight and glanced at the display before saying, "It says that it's recording, that's all that Derek said that we needed to do."

"Are we done in here?" Malika asked curiously.

"Yeah. Let's go and see what else we can find." Lorra said as she scanned the area to make sure that they hadn't inadvertently left something lying around.

Malika did likewise, then started walking toward the door.

"Time check. We're leaving room three one three three to investigate the E and F wings." Lorra called loudly into the room before following Malika into the hallway.

"Are you sensing anything?" Charity asked Max cautiously.

"No... And that's what's bothering me." Max said quietly.

"How do you mean?" Charity asked curiously.

"This place is over two hundred years old. I should be sensing dozens of echoes and voices from the past. So far, this place feels as flat and... eventless... as a newly built home." Max said anxiously.

"What do you think that means?" Charity cautiously asked.

"I don't know. Maybe I'm instinctively shielding myself, preemptively blocking out what I'm expecting to sense. Sometimes I do that." Max said uneasily.

"Is that kind of like when you close your eyes and brace yourself when you know you're about to get a shot?" Charity asked curiously.

"Yes. Aunt Felicia said that it's natural and that it's not a bad thing. It's part of our self preservation instinct." Max slowly explained.

"Is there anything that you can do to stop it?"

"Yes. I'll need to stop and center myself and consciously lower my walls." Max said quietly.

"Okay. Then you'd better do it before we go any farther. My K2 isn't telling me anything, so you're the only hope that we've got of finding anything at all." Charity said frankly.

"I'm going to sit down and clear my mind for a moment, then I'll be ready." Max said seriously.

Charity watched through the viewfinder of her night vision camera as Max sat down in the middle of the hallway with his legs crossed and closed his eyes.

The sound of a movement off to one side drew Charity's attention and she quickly turned her DVR in that direction.

She didn't see anything, but took the camera off her belt and snapped a few still photos as quickly as she was able, one handed.

Charity slowly scanned around the hallway with her DVR as she kept the digital camera poised, ready to snap another picture at the first indication of another sound.

"I'm ready." Max said quietly as he stood.

"Can you sense anything?" Charity asked cautiously.

"This way."

As Alana stepped out of room 6318, she realized that she was probably at the most central location of the sixth floor of the hotel. Taking that into account, there wasn't any logical reason for her to choose one wing over the others. That being the case, Alana set off to the right, planning to go to the A wing, so that she could simply investigate them in alphabetical order.

With her DVR in one hand and her K2 meter in the other, she slowly walked down the hallway of the D wing, approaching the junction where the B, C and D wings intersected.

Suddenly, she heard a faint fluttering or scampering sound from above her. Reflexively, she turned her DVR camera upward, but nothing was there.

She turned and did a quick visual survey of the area, but nothing appeared to be out of place in any direction.

Alana was aware that her heart was pounding and that she seemed to be experiencing the aftereffects of too much adrenaline. She chastised herself for reacting to such a benign thing as an unexpected sound.

Having reached the intersection, she turned left and went down the B wing which would eventually branch off to the right into the A wing.

Her years of investigatory experience told her that she was in absolutely no danger whatsoever, but still she found that her nerves were on edge and that she had an increasing pool of anxiety welling within her.

The K2 meter in her hand wasn't giving any indication of anything out of place. Nevertheless, not only was her heart racing, but her breathing was also becoming rapid and shallow.

Aware that her handheld DVR was recording, Alana carefully said, "About a minute ago, in response to an unknown sound stimulus, I was overcome with a feeling of anxiety and a sensation of being pursued. I can't seem to get the feelings to settle down although I'm in no apparent danger. EMF shows as normal."

"Can you imagine how much money you must have to have to stay in a room like this?" Van asked as he looked around the 'imperial' suite.

"No. But if I was a ghost, I can think of worse places to end up." Hunter said frankly.

"Why don't we do an EVP session in here?" Van asked curiously.

"Are you getting any EMF readings?" Hunter asked cautiously.

"No. But we haven't got any anywhere else, either. This place is as good as any." Van said reasonably.

"I don't know. I feel like we'd be wasting time, and since they're giving us our own investigation to do... it just feels wrong." Hunter said anxiously.

"How much of an investigation are we going to get done if we just walk around and don't get any readings?" Van asked simply, then added, "I mean, since our 'hot spot' turned out not to be all that hot."

"Yeah. Okay. Just a little one." Hunter relented.

Van turned on his digital audio recorder and said, "Hunter and Van in room forty-four fifty-one. We're doing an EVP session. We haven't seen or heard anything, this just seems like it would be a nice place for a ghost to hang out."

Hunter walked to Van's side and carefully did a visual scan of the room with his DVR.

"Do you want to take some stills while we're doing this?" Van asked seriously.

"Yeah. I've got it." Hunter said quickly as he took the digital camera off his belt.

"I'm holding a voice recorder in my hand, it has a red light. If you talk to it, I might be able to hear you. We're not here to hurt you or make you go away or anything. We just want to ask you some questions." Van said into the darkness.

Hunter took a picture in the general direction of the center of the room.

"What is your name?" Van asked professionally.

Hunter snapped another picture and waited.

"What year was it when you first came here?" Van asked as he turned to face away from Hunter to try and avoid the flash from the camera.

All of a sudden, the lights on the K2 meter in Van's hand went from nothing to fully illuminated, all the way into the red.

Shocked by the sudden EMF reading, Van cautiously asked, "Do you want us to leave?"

"Yes." A voice whispered from between them.

"Did you say that?" Van asked in a trembling voice.

"No." Hunter answered fearfully.

"Okay. We'll leave. But before we do, I'm going to give you a few seconds to tell us anything that you want to say."

"Get out!" A voice whispered harshly.

"Um, yeah. We're outta here." Van said as he started walking toward the door.

By the time he had reached the door, Hunter was at his side.

"What do we do now?" Hunter asked as soon as they were in the hall.

"Let's get back to where we set up the camera. If things are heating up, we need to check out the main thing we were sent here to investigate." Van said seriously.

"Do you think it's going to try to hurt us?" Hunter asked as he struggled to keep up with Van's hurried pace.

"Even if it does, we're protected." Van said simply.

"Right this minute, I don't feel very protected." Hunter said honestly.

"Your moms know that this stuff works, so trust them. I know it works, too. So trust me. Draw in the light. Let it surround you and fill you."


"I need to get out of here. I can feel that thing eating at me." Kyla said gravely. Her hands were trembling, causing the beam of her flashlight to 'flutter'.

"Go ahead, if you need to. I'm going to stay here and keep studying it." Jack said simply as he moved the flashlight closer to look at the painting in detail.

"You don't understand. This thing is malignant. The longer you're around it, the more likely it is to infect you. It's a trap." Kyla urged him to understand.

"It's a painting. If I can just record one instance of it changing appearance, I'll have photographic evidence of a paranormal event." Jack said seriously.

"Is that worth your soul?" Kyla asked as tears welled in her eyes.

"I don't believe in souls. I believe in energies." Jack responded reasonably.

"Fine! If you stay here the energy in that painting is going to corrupt your energy and turn it into something evil and insane." Kyla said angrily.

Jack took in a long slow breath of cold air, then said, "Alright. Let me double check that everything is recording, then we'll go and walk around the rest of this floor to see what else we can find."

"Oh my God!" Kyla gasped.

Jack turned the flashlight toward her and found her wide eyed and pale, staring at the painting.

As he followed her gaze and turned back to the painting, he saw a dark figure, walking in the fog, amongst the trees.

"Do you smell that?" Mike asked cautiously.

"Perfume?" Derek asked to confirm.

"Yeah. I didn't smell it until just now." Mike said nervously.

"Would you do me a favor and walk around the room with your K2 meter while I finish getting this camera set up?" Derek asked hopefully.

"Just hit the button, right?" Mike asked cautiously.

"Yes. If it reads anything over green, let me know." Derek answered absently.

"Um... Derek?" Mike asked nervously.

When Derek turned, he saw Mike holding out the K2 meter for him to see, with all the lights lit up.

"Hold still." Derek whispered as he carefully turned the wireless DVR on its tripod to face Mike.

"What should I do?" Mike asked in a whisper.

"Just stay still." Derek said calmly as he reached down to his belt and took off the audio recorder.

As he was turning it on, Mike let out a sudden scream, then ran for the door.

Derek was conflicted about what he should do, but finally decided to follow after Mike to make sure that he was okay.

"What's wrong? What happened?" Derek asked as he approached Mike and Norville in the hall, some thirty feet from the door to room 257.

"I felt it touch me." Mike said in a trembling voice as he fought to clip his K2 meter back onto his belt.

"What did you feel?" Derek asked as he held out his digital audio recorder.

"It was cold and wet... on my neck." Mike said as he began to reach up to it.

"Stop. Let me see, first." Derek cautioned.

Mike stopped in mid motion, but from his expression, it appeared to be something of a struggle.

Derek looked carefully at Mike's neck, then immediately took out his digital camera and started taking pictures from different angles.

"What's wrong? What is it?" Mike asked with escalating panic.

Derek was in too much of a documenting frenzy to answer.

It was finally Norville who whispered, "Lipstick."

To Be Continued...

Editor's Notes:

Ok, Connie Francis, I hear your song, "Lipstick On Your Collar".

Things seem to be heating up a bit, don't they?

I think this was a cliffhanger.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher

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